New Orleans Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Preview and Pick – 29045

New Orleans Hornets (2-4 2-4 ATS) vs. L.A. Lakers (5-1 1-5 ATS) Staples Center Los Angeles, CA 9:30 PM EST Sunday November 8, 2009 on FOX Sports West
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: Hornets +6.5/Lakers -6.5

Over/Under: 197.5

Tonight in Tinsel Town the L.A. Lakers host the struggling
New Orleans Hornets. The defending champion Lakers have
picked up right where they left off, as they are 5-1, have won 4 games in
a row, and lead the Pacific Division. The Hornets, on the other hand, are
only 2-4, are coming off a loss, and are in 4th place in the Southwest Division.
Chris Paul is having a great season, but that’s about it
for the Hornets, as they are missing the interior defense that the departed Tyson Chandler once provided as
their defense is struggling big time. Last season the Hornets gave up an
average of only 94.3 ppg, which was 5th best in the NBA, and this season
they are giving up an average of 105.5 ppg. That is especially not good
for the Hornets since the Lakers are averaging 109 ppg in their 4-game winning
streak. On top of that the Hornets may have to face a couple of 7-footers
that should be back for the Lakers after being shelved with injuries in
Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

In their last game the Hornets were schooled losing to the Toronto Raptors 107-90 last night. The high scorer for the game was Chris Paul going for 21 points on 8/13 shooting. For the game the Hornets shot 36/75 for a FG% of 48%. On defense the Hornets allowed the Raptors to shoot 39/77 for a FG% of 50.6%.

Last night the Lakers had no problem beating the Memphis Grizzlies 114-98. The high scorer was obviously Kobe going for 41 points on 19/30 shooting. For the game the Lakers shot 48/95 for a FG% of 50.5%. On D the Lakers allowed the Griz to shoot 36/79 for a FG% of 45.6%.

This season the Lakers rank 11th in scoring (102.5 ppg) and the Hornets rank 15th (99.2 ppg). On defense the Lakers rank 14th in points allowed (99 ppg) while the Hornets only rank 23rd (105.5 ppg). The Lakers have been struggling on the as they have a rebound differential of -0.5 rpg, but not as much as the Hornets who are at -4.3 rpg. Overall in rebound stats the Hornets rank dead last in the league.

The Hornets need to find some offense, as in the Toronto game only 3 players scored in double figures.

Paul has to find a way to get David West more involved
in the offense. West averaged over 20 ppg last season, but this season he
is only at 16.8 ppg and it is not because he is shooting poorly with a FG%
of almost 50%.

The Hornets have to play good perimeter D tonight not only on Bryant, but overall, as in the Raptors game they allowed Toronto to shoot 14/29 from downtown for a scoring 3-point FG% of 48.3%.

The Hornets sure hope Bynum can’t go, as the Hornets lack size and the 7-foot Lakers’ C is averaging 20 ppg and 10.6 rpg. If he and Gasol are back for the Lakers the Hornets will be on major trouble on the boards.

Emeka Okafor is averaging 10.7 rpg and it falls on his shoulders to take care of the glass tonight, but he has to do it himself since he will not get much help.

The Hornets will have to play a solid all-around game to have any chance of beating the Lakers tonight. I mean look at the Lakers last game: Lamar Odom only had 3 points and L.A. was without Gasol and Bynum and they still won by 16 points.

The Hornets have yet to win on the road this season (0-3).

Even though everything spells out a blowout for the Lakers if you want to drop some coin on L.A. beware, are they are only 1-5 ATS this season.

On the injury front PF Ike Diogu is day to day for New Orleans and PF Pau Gasol and C Andrew Bynum are day to day for L.A.

Jason’s Pick: The Lakers have shown that often times they’ll play down to the level of their competion. Missing Gasol and Bynum doesn’t help that either. I like the Hornets to cover tonight.